Israeli compact and embedded computing specialist SolidRun has announced the launch of a system-on-module (SoM) with a difference: it's based around Intel Braswell processors.
SolidRun's previous products, including the ultra-compact CuBox-i mini-PC and Raspberry Pi competitor HummingBoard, have all been based around various ARM CPU IP. The MicroSoM, though, opts for something different: the choice of one of a pair of Intel's Braswell processors, the Pentium N3710 or the Atom x5-E8000. The result: a compact, low-power device which can be built into embedded projects or used with the optional 100mm x 80mm carrier board to build a compact PC capable of running a wider range of operating systems - including the full desktop version of Windows 10.
'Intel’s Braswell family of quad-core CPUs are ideal for embedded applications and IoT solutions thanks to their incredible performance, excellent thermal efficiency and low power requirements. However, designing products that utilise these robust chips can be daunting thanks to complex power management challenges and complicated documentation,
' claimed Rabeeh Khoury, SolidRun's chief technical officer, at the unveiling. 'We designed our Braswell-based MicroSoM to eliminate the hassle of developing Intel-powered solutions. We’ve achieved this by providing a clear, one-page instruction sheet with our products. We dramatically reduce engineering time by enabling on-module CPU power management, so that all developers have to do is supply the MicroSoM with a single rail power input.
The modules, available from today direct from SolidRun and expected to appear at resellers globally in the coming weeks, are available with a choice of 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB of DDR3 memory and 4GB of on-board eMMC storage. The bare module, though, is of use only for embedded developers; those looking to build a compact PC will need the SolidPC Q4 carrier board, which accepts any MicroSoM and provides DisplayPort, HDMI 1.4b, dual gigabit network connectors with optional power-over-Ethernet (PoE) support, three USB 3.0 ports, two UART headers, M.2 2242 and M.2 2230 connectors for storage and radio modules, plus a micro-SD slot. An optional metal enclosure doubles as a heatsink, or the board can be used on its own with an optional dedicated heatsink - not included in the standard pricing - fitted.
Full UK pricing for the devices has yet to be confirmed, with SolidRun's pre-orders running from $117 for the E8000-based 2GB MicroSoM and rising to $255 for the Pentium N3710 8GB model (around £90 and £196 respectively, excluding tax); adding the carrier board to any MicroSoM is an additional $40 (around £31 excluding tax). More information is available on the official website